Gratitude Day 654

Hebrews 10:25 – This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.

Because of the latest pandemic, for much of the last 18 months or so, we have been encouraged to be cautious and careful about our interactions with other people. It’s been hard to not see family and friends as we would have liked. We’ve missed and delayed countless events and celebrations. While this has been a sacrifice on so many levels, it has felt important to do.

Slowly, Hubby Rick and I are reacquainting ourselves with feeling comfortable doing things with groups of people. This led to some time away and visits with family and friends recently. We’ve so enjoyed being able to travel, spend time together with people we have not seen in a long time and explore new places. It’s been great.

We’ve also come to realize that it really is the little things of life that are the most deeply meaningful and important things to us. This was the point of a conversation I had while in the car with my cousin Steve just a couple days ago. We had just dropped off Aunt Beverly at her assisted living. Steve and I had this brief conversation about how there comes a stage in life where we hope we learn and remember that the little things truly ARE the big things of life.

While we say this over and over, remembering it and living it require more dedication than we often grant it.

Let me share what I mean. Hubby Rick LOVES a good card game. He’s been like this since I have known him. Any day that includes a card game is a good day in his book. At times, he has said to me, “I’m going through card withdrawal. Can we find someone to play cards with?”

With the pandemic, playing cards became a bit trickier. How could we do this safely? A couple times, we played online with some of my cousins. They live out east. We live in Wisconsin. We played one of Rick’s favorite games, Crap on Your Neighbor, together from various locations. And it was fun!

Yet, in-person cards still remains the best option. Thankfully for Rick, my Mom’s side of the family also loves to play cards. (This is the same side of extended family that we played online with.) So, while we were in Denver recently visiting my Aunt Beverly, we made sure and played many games of cards.

Aunt Beverly will soon turn 91. Her short-term memory is challenged at times. Sometimes she would simply ask us a question that she didn’t know the answer, even though the answer should have been very obvious I give her credit for simply asking the question.

While her moments of short-term memory were challenged, there are other parts of her memory that are still very sharp and spot on. Case-in-point: her ability to play cards.

In dim light, she had difficult distinguishing between the various suites. Outside of this, she kept up with the rest of us. At times, made some very witty and appropriate comments and card plays. Like most card-players, she still finds great pleasure is playing just the right card that will change the course of the game, be a surprise and/or put another player in a pickle. Most often, the play is made very slyly and without great fanfare. It’s the rest of the players that are howling after her great play.

More than once, the comment was made about how special and important it is that my family developed this love for playing cards. My grandparents grew up in an era where drinking and dancing was not favorable. For some reason, playing cards was acceptable. They taught their children and grandchildren to play cards, which we continue to do with great fanfare and deep belly laughs.

Human beings need time together to simply be and do fun things. Have a meal together. Share stories and history. And do fun things like play cards. One reason why cards is a great generational equalizer? Anyone from 2 to 102 and play cards. There’s no long-term affects if a bad move is made. Everyone has a time when they will be the winner and when they will be the loser.

Hubby Rick and I were in the car yesterday. I asked him if he got a card fix over the last week or so, after playing cards with family and friends. Yes, he admitted that he did. He also pointed out that he won several games and how fun it is to gather around the table and share this experience together.

Is playing cards a big thing? Nope. It’s a little thing. A truly little thing. Yes, playing too many cards and for the wrong reasons can lead to something not as positive. Too much of anything can be unhealthy. But for the simple, ordinary card games we played this past week, it was a great way to be together, share an experience, laugh and simply enjoy the smaller things of life.

Sometimes, we make life too complicated. Our expectations are too grand. We expect lavish outcomes after significant inputs.

Maybe, it’s something as small as a game of cards that really holds the secrets of a great life. We see Jesus modeling this time and time again. A meal at a person’s house. Telling a story with his closet friends. Picking a weed and sharing how these little seeds are much more like God’s kingdom than you would ever expect.

Too often, we put way too much emphasis and weight on the big things when maybe, it’s the little things that add the most value and depth in our lives. Yes, the big things are necessary and helpful. But let’s not forget the card games. The board games. The cup of coffee together with a new friend. These are the moments that most often are seared into our hearts and minds as ones that are precious and dear to us.

What little moment can be deeply meaningful for you today? And how will you make sure this happens?

For remembering the full value of the little things, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – May I be reminded once again how special and deeply meaningful the little things of life can and should be. While I can appreciate the big things, may I also truly appreciate all the little things that often are the big things in daily life. Amen.

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